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WEDNESDAY EDITION: HRO in Salem, NH is doing a blockbuster business since the virus hit, although some concerns about people without a proper ham license purchasing the gear! Coming soon to a band near you....A little music for you to start the day off...It might be time to start thinking about a survival garden...Here are a few ways to get your mind off stressful things....If you take Zantac for heartburn, don't!...

New flag for China

World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 Celebrates 95th Anniversary of the IARU

 

Saturday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year marking the 95th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Around the world, amateur radio special event stations — most sponsored by IARU member-societies — will mark the event on the air, starting on April 18 at 0000 UTC and continuing until April 19, at 0000, honing skills and capabilities while enjoying global friendship with other amateurs worldwide. The theme for WARD is “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.” IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic casts the event in a different light than in years past.

A few short weeks ago, many of us could not imagine the levels of isolation that we are now dealing with and the sacrifices of many on the front lines of the pandemic,” Ellam said. “As we have done in past challenges to our society, amateur radio will play a key part in keeping people connected and assisting those who need support.”

Ellam said he’s coming off his own 14-day isolation after returning from overseas. “I am touched by the kindness of strangers who assisted me when I was unable to leave my house,” he said. “It strikes me amateur radio operators, who give so much during these times of crisis are not limited to assisting over the air. Amateurs are true volunteers, and I would encourage everyone to assist in the community as they are able to.”

On April 18, 1925, the IARU was formed in Paris, with ARRL cofounder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, in attendance. Radio amateurs were the first to discover that shortwave spectrum could support worldwide propagation, and in the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio found itself “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” as IARU history puts it. Two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, amateur radio gained allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. From an initial 25 countries, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions.

How to Participate 

  • Get on the air. Create your own personal “event” to talk about amateur radio. (To list your World Amateur Radio Day event, contact IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ.) 
  • Check into the Echolink World Conference and IRLP 9251. The special event call sign will be W7W. 
  • Look for and contact stations using the W7W call sign. 
  • Create and hold a special net on World Amateur Radio Day to draw attention to the event and allow hams to start talking about our hobby. 
  • Spread the word. If you’re responsible for club publicity, send a press release and do public relations outreach to highlight the event. 
  • Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity on social media by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter and Facebook. 
  • Use the poster and flyer that IARU provides in publicizing the event, amateur radio, and your group or club. 

World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but an opportunity to talk about the value of amateur radio to the public and our fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great opportunity to talk about your club and amateur radio in local media.

In this time of social isolation, amateur radio continues to remain relevant in bringing people together. “Social distancing” has long been a positive practice in the hobby by bringing people together culturally through radio while providing essential communication in the service of communities.

“My wish for this World Amateur Radio Day is for everyone to stay safe, follow the advice of medical professionals and use amateur radio and your skills to help us through this crisis,” Ellam said. 

Coronavirus: International understanding and help

Germany's DARC reports in 2018 and 2019, Reinhard Kühn, DK5LA, supported the Harbin Institute of Technology in China with the EME system for the Chinese Longjiang 2 moon mission

A translation of the DARC post reads:

The experiments of the mission were conceived and implemented by radio amateurs. In China, Wei Ming Chuan, BG2BHC, was responsible.
Media worldwide as well as Radio DARC and the CQ DL had reported in detail.

A few days ago, Reinhard received a call from Wei directly from China.
The latter had heard that the corona virus has now also arrived in Germany. So he really wanted to hear Reinhard's voice in person to inquire about his health.

Wei was obviously worried about Reinhard because he had learned that the supply of protective masks in Germany is currently limited.
So he insisted on sending him some protective masks. Reinhard was very happy to hear Wei’s voice and receive protective masks from him.

Wei is currently doing as well as Reinhard. "Anyone who claims that radio amateurs can only do technology will find another example of a lived Ham-spirit," summarizes Ulrich Fenner, DL2EP.

Source DARC https://darc.de/

 

TUESDAY EDITION: Another sunny and warm day here on the rock, hopefully Corona free....Manhattan cathederal will serve as a coronavirus field hospital...How about that metric system?....An interesting read and makes one think...

The Future is Fragmented

Once upon a time, QST magazine had something close to a monopoly when it came to amateur radio news, projects, product reviews, and much more. That’s not to say there weren’t alternative publications, but QST was clearly the 800-pound gorilla on the block.Amateur radio was more homogeneous in those days. When you got on the air you mostly operated SSB, CW, or FM. You attended hamfests, handled traffic, and exchanged QSLs in the mail. Morse code was a lingua franca that almost everyone understood to one degree or another.As amateur radio has changed over the years, so has the publishing industry.
 In this month’s column, QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, explains how ARRL’s publications are adapting to keep up.There was a time when amateur radio was a quasi-fraternal community and the content of QST reflected that community. Even as the hobby began to diversify with increasing digital activity in the 1980s, the com-munity remained united, especially in the way in which it acquired information.And then came the internet.During the last 25 years, the internet has wreaked havoc across the media landscape by fragmenting audiences into almost infinite numbers of groups and subgroups. With content-filtering technology, individuals can easily pick and choose what they want to see according to their interests, no matter how narrow those interests may be. Newspapers and magazines are struggling in this envi-ronment, desperate to adapt to a world that changed almost overnight. As a result, many are shrinking or going out of business entirely.QST hasn’t been immune to these disruptive forces, which is why we hired a media research company to investigate how members, and non-members, really felt about the magazine. To no one’s surprise, the vast majority of older hams were still quite content with QST and gave it high marks.
 However, younger hams — age 30 to 60 — were not happy. They felt the technical material was over their heads and they could not relate to the tradition-oriented tone the magazine seemed to project. For example, they told us they found discussions of ham history and vintage equipment boring and they were put off by other aspects of QST that had been standard fare for decades. I’ll always remember the barbed comment from one study participant (age 41) who wrote concerning the “Silent Keys” column: “Who puts lists of dead people in a maga-zine? Yeah, that’s what I want in my mailbox every month!” The data sent a clear message:
Our audience was frag-menting, particularly along generational lines. As we The Future is Fragmentedwatched other publications scrambling to reposition them-selves, we realized the ARRL media battleship needed to change course, and quickly.The first result was the new On the Air magazine, which debuted in January. I’m happy to say that On the Air has hit the bullseye for the increasing number of amateurs who don’t find a “home” in QST. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I only regret we didn’t pub-lish it sooner
.At the same time, we launched two new podcasts: Eclec-tic Tech and On the Air. Together with the weekly ARRL Audio News, these also appeal to a younger audience that consumes podcasts voraciously, although we’re noticing that Eclectic Tech and Audio News have a grow-ing audience among older amateurs as well.Expect to see even more focused media offerings from ARRL. We are considering digital publications that will concentrate on specific activities in the way we do now with the ARES E-Letter and Contest Update. Speaking of digital publications, the weekly ARRL Letter now has a circulation of more than 107,000. If it continues to grow, it will someday rival QST as the most popular ARRL publication.There is also the National Contest Journal and QEX. By the time you read this, both magazines will be avail-able in digital formats to all ARRL members.But what becomes of QST? Rest assured the magazine is not going away. If you are a veteran amateur, I believe you’ll find even more to enjoy in the issues to come. Of course, QST will slowly evolve as today’s veterans leave the ranks and a new crop replaces them. The future is about increasing fragmentation and, as with all media, QST will adapt.Steve Ford, WB8IMYEditorInsert A

Celebrating the 95th World Amateur Radio Day

With millions of Americans now isolated at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a renewed interest in Amateur Radio, which allows “hams” to talk with each other all over the world independent of traditional communication systems.

On April 18, World Amateur Radio Day will have special meaning as hundreds of thousands of hams worldwide take to the airways to celebrate their hobby, as well as to highlight the ability to communicate using their own equipment without the need to rely on cell phones or the Internet.

https://www.hudsonvalley
360.com/artsandlife/localannouncements/celebrating-the-95th-world-amateur-radio-day/article_ba986803-fc2a-5731-b24b-9897964656c2.html

Update on USA online ham radio exams

In this video Richard Bateman KD7BBC provides an update on moves towards Online Exams in the USA following the first successful all-online Technician Exam on March 26

Many hams are already aware that a successful fully remote online ham radio exam was administered on Mar 26, 2020; fewer know that the administering VE for that session is also the owner of HamStudy.org or that we were using a system which has been running for years.

This short statement is my attempt at summarizing what is going on in this field; all interested VECs are invited to use our system, but we ask that VE teams wait until they hear from their VEC that the system is available to them as there is still a lot of work to be done and problems to be solved.

Watch Online US Ham Radio exams coming soon -- please be patient!

 

MONDAY EDITION: Good morning, a sunny day on the coastline. The next two weeks are supposed to be the worst in our history, let's hope the social distancing strategy starts to lower the death rate...While we quarantine, the rich live large...A tiger caught the virus?....

Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the way Earth moves

A reduction in seismic noise because of changes in human activity is a boon for geoscientists.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought chaos to lives and economies around the world. But efforts to curb the spread of the virus might mean that the planet itself is moving a little less. Researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust — that could be the result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down. They say this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events.

A noise reduction of this magnitude is usually only experienced briefly around Christmas, says Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, where the drop has been observed.

Just as natural events such as earthquakes cause Earth’s crust to move, so do vibrations caused by moving vehicles and industrial machinery. And although the effects from individual sources might be small, together they produce background noise, which reduces seismologists’ ability to detect other signals occurring at the same frequency.

Source: Royal Observatory of Belgium

Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced seismic noise to fall by about one-third, says Lecocq. The measures included closing schools, restaurants and other public venues from 14 March, and banning all non-essential travel from 18 March (see ‘Seismic noise’).

The current drop has boosted the sensitivity of the observatory’s equipment, improving its ability to detect waves in the same high frequency range as the noise. The facility’s surface seismometer is now almost as sensitive to small quakes and quarry blasts as a counterpart detector buried in a 100-metre borehole, he adds. “This is really getting quiet now in Belgium.”

Information boost

If lockdowns continue in the coming months, city-based detectors around the world might be better than usual at detecting the locations of earthquake aftershocks, says Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC. “You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events,” he says.

The fall in noise could also benefit seismologists who use naturally occurring background vibrations, such as those from crashing ocean waves, to probe Earth’s crust. Because volcanic activity and changing water tables affect how fast these natural waves travel, scientists can study these events by monitoring how long it takes a wave to reach a given detector. A fall in human-induced noise could boost the sensitivity of detectors to natural waves at similar frequencies, says Lecocq, whose team plans to begin testing this. “There’s a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements,” he says.

Belgian seismologists are not the only ones to notice the effects of lockdown. Celeste Labedz, a graduate student in geophysics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, tweeted that a similar fall in noise had been picked up by a station in Los Angeles. “The drop is seriously wild,” she said.

However, not all seismic monitoring stations will see an effect as pronounced as the one observed in Brussels, says Emily Wolin, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Many stations are purposefully located in remote areas or deep boreholes to avoid human noise. These should see a smaller decrease, or no change at all, in the level of high-frequency noise they record, she says.

Amateur Radio provides world-wide Covid19 information and news

When the Covid19 virus outbreak started spreading rapidly from China to the rest of the world, I started to look into ways of how amateur radio could render a useful service to Africa but also to the rest of the Globe during this pandemic.

I looked at many options which included HF Radio, Echolink, AREDN etc. The aim was not to communicate with only radio amateurs but to the Government of South Africa, Department of Health, General Public and all other Roll Players.

It was clear from the onset that radio communications would limited the amount of people that would have access to vital and life saving information. Amateur Radio had to play another and new roll during this pandemic and it must be a vital one. I decided to use social media, aka Twitter. It had to reflect the fact that the Twitter account and information posted was provided by Amateur Radio. I could not sit and watch and “play” radio while people were dying. Amateur Radio had to play its part in curbing and lower the curve to prevent the virus from spreading so rapidly and to keep the people informed about the virus.

I created the account Covid-19 South Africa @CovidAfrica https://twitter.com/CovidAfrica and the rest is history. Amateur Radio once more can show that it can render a useful non radio service during Disasters and even Pandemics.

We need to adapt to changing circumstances and if need be use social media to promote amateur radio but also to render a useful service. Some might not agree but a poll currently running showed that Covid-19 South Africa @CovidAfrica is providing a useful service.

If you feel that this is not a worthwhile effort or not amateur radio related, then you welcome to omit it. I just thought that Amateur Radio must and can render a useful service during this pandemic.

Preppers and Ham Radio Operators Not so Crazy in the Age of the Coronavirus

As the world is swept up into 24/7 coronavirus hysteria, people who once mocked preppers and ham radio operators are starting to admit it may not have been the best idea to make fun of these people who now seem like modern-day prophets.

Just a few short months ago, the world ridiculed anyone who dared to prepare for bad times or have a stockpile of food and supplies for their family. Today, those same people they wish they listened – all the while screaming about hoarders and how unfair it is that they can’t find the food they need at the store.

What they still don’t understand is this crisis had nothing to do with preppers; preppers were prepared years ago. 99.9999% of the people standing in four-hour-long lines at Walmart and Costco are not Preppers, and you certainly didn’t see any of them pushing out carts full of toilet paper.

The current hoarding of idiotic things like 10 years’ worth of toilet paper, in large part, is being done by panicked, clueless millennials who once taunted preppers. These same arrogant bastards are now scrambling to figure out what it is they need to survive without being able to run to the nearest Starbucks Drive-Through – which we are seeing reports that in many areas of the country have hour-long drive-through lines for Starbucks coffee. Apparently, these morons have yet to discover the good old fashion coffee pot.

So as we slowly descend into this dystopian, 1984-style nightmare – that we believe is more hype, government control, and hysteria than actual viral danger – the world is starting to wake up to prepping and so-called “old technologies” that many claimed whose time had passed, like Ham Radio.

Ham Radio gear is being bought, and in some cases hoarded like never before, especially cheaply made Chinese radios like the Baofeng. Many of these radios are being bought by people who have no idea what they are really buying, and have been tricked by internet marketers into believing these radios can do everything under the sun.

We’ve been flooded with emails from people asking how to talk to people in Wuhan on their Baofeng. WHAT?

I get it; people want information; but most of the people buying these radios failed to understand the difference between HF Radios and UHF/VHF radios. Hell, most have never even heard of a repeater so it’s not a wonder they are frantically trying to figure out why their Baofeng just gives them static.

The New Social Network?

Hell no, more like the original!

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen numerous mainstream media outlets writing idiotic articles on how ham radio operators are creating “new social networks” called ham nets where people “check-in”.

Unfortunately, 99% of the media is made up of millennial morons who apparently can’t even do basic research, otherwise, they would know we have been doing ham nets and what they call “networking” 50+ years before Facebook, or hell even Myspace (most of them don’t even know what that is).

In fact, we were creating our own packet stations and BBS boards long before Facebook, Twitter, or even AOL Instant Messenger!

Censorship in the edge of unlimited freedoms?

Some, not many, but some are also coming to the realization that the internet they believed would give them access to unlimited knowledge has not only made our younger generations less prepared than any other time in history, but it has also blocked them from the truth and replaced it with spoon feed media-driven bullshit that millennials eat up like it’s God’s spoken word.

The truth is, most independent websites have been bought up by media conglomerates and 90% of what can now be found on “search engines” like Google is sanitized, copy and paste stolen garbage coming from a couple of dozen large media conglomerates who have taken over the internet. The other stuff is deemed as conspiracy sites, the dark web, or fake news that has been pushed hundreds of pages deep into the search results or outright banned from search engines and social media.

Welcome to the new world order!

So what about Ham Radio?

Nikola Tesla
The Father of Radio Technology, and the Real Inventor of the Radio, Nikola Tesla

For those new to the hobby, there is a lot we can do, and there is a lot that we can’t do. I’m not going to try to blow smoke up your ass here.

No, you are (probably) not going to be able to hear the police or secret military communications. Most of this stuff has moved to trucked systems (which you may hear with a good scanner) but even most of that has now been encrypted and you will never be able to hear that on any commercial radio. That being said, you can still hear a lot of really weird and interesting stuff including foreign government and military broadcasts, foreign shortwave radio broadcasts, pirate radios, some emergency and government coms, and things like numbers stations and stuff that you may never figure out what you are hearing.

But I do want to put a caveat here – THAT IS NOT HAM RADIO! You can hear these types of broadcasts on some ham radios, but it is not officially ham radio. We can hear these things on our radios, because many HF radios and even VHF/UHF radios still have the ability to receive outside of the traditional ham bands.

Again, I highly advise reading this article Communications Monitoring: The Importance of Radio Monitoring and Intelligence Gathering During Crisis Situations. It will give you a good idea of what you can hear on different types of radios.

Listen, Ham Radio Operators have actual skills. The Radios you can buy commercials are only one small part of the hobby. Many stop at that, and there is nothing wrong with that. But others take it to places that truly do seem a bit magical.

It’s not like signing up for a Facebook account and pretending you know about technology. As you dig deeper into the hobby, you will be amazed by what you can do and how you can literally build systems to send both digital and voice communications around the world with little more than a 9-volt battery, a radio about the size of an Altoids tin, and a couple of wires for an antenna. Most of the people who built the internet, WiFI Networks, and Cell Networks were Ham Radio Operators. It is radio technology that is responsible for all of it – most people never think about that as they browse the internet from their phone!

Ham Radio and Emergency Communcation Resources

Article from https://hamradioprepper.com/

WEEKEND EDITION: We are still Corona free here, 7 test positive in our town of 6000 residents. One dead and one 70 year old man just left the  hospital after 5 days and seems ok....Our 2 meter repeater has been a lot busier than normal, I suppose more people are home in quarantine and other are getting stir crazy and want to talk, good news...The Icom 9700 has a new firmware upgrade ....A feel good story...A fire at Southwest Florida International Airport in a grassy area southeast of Terminal Access Road continued to burn hours after its start Friday afternoon....The Sons of Stupidity motorcycle gang arrive....

YouTube 'Lockdown Morse' Course

If anyone is interested in learning or improving their Morse, I'll be starting a new course on YouTube from Monday 13th April - Lockdown Morse.

Please subscribe to the YouTube channel here if it's something you're interested in - and feel free to share this with anyone you think might enjoy it:
https://youtu.be/RWDqg8bCSqM

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Breaking the isolation one QSO at a time.

In our hobby we regularly talk about its purpose, its need, its usefulness and other potentially abstract notions. Often there's a nod towards science, learning, self-discovery, challenge, emergency service or some other higher order concept. I know I've discussed many of those over the years and encouraged you to find what the hobby means to you.

There is one aspect of our hobby that's pretty much left unsaid. It's left unsaid because it's obvious, since radio is about communication at its heart, the idea that we use our radios for communication is ingrained and unheralded. You might find a few new amateurs talking about how they made their first contact on the local repeater, or how they want to use the hobby to stay in touch when they're out and about.

It occurred to me the other day that much of the world is subject to travel restrictions and social or physical distancing requirements. There's places that are in total lock-down and whilst there are strong recommendations for people over 70 to stay completely isolated, that's not yet a requirement where I live. It might come to that, but at the moment the COVID-19 pandemic is changing habits and communities on an hourly basis.

Technology is often sought as a solution. There's plenty of video-conferences being held. Local amateur clubs are going online to stay in touch with members while face-to-face meetings are off the menu. Then there's the ongoing access to social media, blogs, discussion groups, mailing lists and the like.

There are a few brave radio clubs using something a little less technical. The radio. Shock, horror, imagine that, an amateur radio club using an actual, you know radio, to talk to each other. I must admit that communication via radio, as obvious as that sounds isn't always the first thing that comes to mind. I've lost count of the number of times when at the local club one member stood outside yelling back into the shack which way the rotator on the Yagi was pointing whilst adjustments were being made - turns out that the rotator was spinning on the mast in the wind. Took a concerted effort, seriously, to actually turn on a hand-held radio and talk to each other, like civilised people.

On the weekend during F-troop, a weekly net for new and returning amateurs, I also asked how people were doing given the social isolation that is pervasive.

I also started toying with the idea of running an F-troop every day, then I scaled it back to every Wednesday and Saturday and then it occurred to me that the power to host a net is in the thumb of any amateur clicking their push to talk button and I finally settled on continuing the normal activity of hosting F-troop on Saturday morning at 00:00 UTC for an hour.

I understand that in a technically connected world with cheap internet and fully functional gadgets like smart phones, the idea of going back to radio might seem like a step backwards, but I'd like to point out that we're radio amateurs. That's like being a chef and ordering take-out when you have a fully stocked kitchen.

If you're experienced in this hobby you'll know that nobody needs to grant you permission to host a net, but if you're new here you might not. So, to you I say: "You don't need permission to host a net, so get to it."

There are some things I've learnt since starting F-troop nearly a decade ago. Start small. Depending on the skill-level of the participants, choose an option for hosting it. F-troop is run with a single net-controller, often that's me, and the role of net-control directs who's next to talk. If you're just playing around, the tried and true version is a round-robin net. You'll need to pay attention a little better because you'll need to know who comes after you so you can hand the call to them. There are also variations on this, but again, start small.

I track contacts in a spreadsheet, but a piece of paper is just fine. Writing down all the stations you hear is a great idea, since it helps you keep track of who's said what. You can add information as it comes to hand. If the net is on HF you might record the signal strength you see when you're listening to each station, as well as the name and location or QTH.

Pro-Tip, use a new piece of paper for each net and put a date on it. Future you will love you for it.

My point is that there should be absolutely no impediment to getting on air, making noise and breaking isolation from the comfort of your own shack.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

A little project for you...coat hangers work fine

Past ARRL Treasurer Jim McCobb, K1LU - SK

Past ARRL Treasurer James E. "Jim" McCobb, Jr., K1LU (ex-K1LLU, W1LLU), of West Newbury, Massachusetts, died on April 1.

An ARRL Life Member, he was 77. McCobb served as ARRL Treasurer, a volunteer post, for nearly 32 years, from 1980 until 2012, when he was succeeded by current ARRL Treasurer Rick Niswander, K7GM. An active DXer and contester, McCobb was active from Belize, where he held the call sign V31JR. McCobb was a US Air Force veteran and spent most of his professional career as a banker.

First licensed at age 16, McCobb was very active on HF -- especially on 40, 20, and 17 meters, primarily on SSB, although he operated CW during contests. He also enjoyed listening to amateur and shortwave bands, DXing, ragchewing, contesting, and "doing just about any kind of antenna work," he said in his QRZ.com profile. His other hobbies included Alpine skiing, listening to music, and collecting stereo equipment from the mid-to-late 1970s.

REF makes magazine available for Free download

France's national amateur radio society REF has made the April edition of its magazine Radio REF available as a free PDF for everyone to download

In his editorial the President of the French Transmitters Network (REF), Jean-Louis Truquet F5DJL, says:

This April 2020 issue of our journal is in free electronic form for everyone on our website, we hope that reading it will enhance your isolation and encourage those who know us less to discover the life of the association and of our community and participate in it.

Download the magazine from  
https://www.r-e-f.org/images/2020_04_INTERACTIF.pdf

Thousands apply to join NASA’s Artemis Generation, #BeAnAstronaut

More than 12,000 people have applied to join NASA’s next class of astronauts, demonstrating strong national interest to take part in America’s plans to explore the Moon and take humanity’s next giant leap – human missions to Mars.

Applications were received from every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories. However, the process is just beginning for NASA’s Astronaut Selection Board, which will assess the applicants’ qualifications and invite the most qualified candidates to the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for interviews and medical tests before making a final selection. NASA expects to introduce the new astronaut candidates in the summer of 2021.

“We’ve entered a bold new era of space exploration with the Artemis program, and we are thrilled to see so many incredible Americans apply to join us,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The next class of Artemis Generation astronauts will help us explore more of the Moon than ever before and lead us to the Red Planet.”

The application for the newest class of astronauts opened March 2 and closed March 31. The number of people who applied to be an astronaut represents the second-highest number of applications NASA has ever received, surpassed only by the record of 18,300 set by the most recent class of astronauts who graduated in January.

For this round of applications, NASA increased the education requirement for applicants from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree in a science, technology, math, or engineering field. In addition, the application period was shortened from two months to one.

“We’re able to build such a strong astronaut corps at NASA because we have such a strong pool of applicants to choose from,” said Anne Roemer, manager of the Astronaut Selection Board and director of human resources at Johnson. “It’s always amazing to see the diversity of education, experience and skills that are represented in our applicants. We are excited to start reviewing astronaut applications to identify the next class of astronaut candidates.”

Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to serve as crew aboard spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

Once selected, the astronaut candidates will go through approximately two years of initial skills training, such as spacewalking, robotics, and spacecraft systems, as well as expeditionary behavior skills, such as leadership, followership, and teamwork. After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft -- developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program -- to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth. There they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for the Moon and Mars.

This new class also may launch aboard NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions to the Moon. Beginning in 2024, NASA will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface and will establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining insights from new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the 2030s.

For more information about NASA astronauts, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts

Amateur Radio Newsline Report

'VIRTUAL TESTING' DAWNS FOR LICENSES AMID PANDEMIC

JIM/ANCHOR: We begin this week with another story of triumph for amateur radio ingenuity: If taking your license exam seems like a remote possibility right now, you should know that - well - it is! With the approval of the FCC, the first Technician class license exam during the pandemic lockdown took place in the United States on March 26 -- remotely. It was conducted online in a "virtual" test environment. Ralph Squillace KK6ITB gives us the details.

RALPH: Joseph Talbot of Nevada is now known as KJ7NNU, all because he took and passed his Technician class license exam on the 26th of March. The test was given with the support of the W5YI Volunteer Examiner Coordinator in Arlington, Texas. It took place in a remote online environment where everyone was online - even the proctor who oversaw the test via videoconferencing software. Joseph, who had held a license before, learned one day later that he had qualified to become a Technician once again. WA6VPS reported on Twitter that the trial run was being considered a success and opened up the possibility of others taking tests during this period of lockdown from the global pandemic. He noted that remote testing has been permitted since 2014. In fact, the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club's Volunteer Examiners in Alaska have been conducting exams like this but until now a proctor still had to be physically present.

Marcel Stieber AI6MS, a Volunteer Examiner who lives in California, posted on Twitter on March 28 that the KJ7NNU test-run gives other hams hope. He wrote [quote]: "Stay tuned. We hope to have a scalable solution available for broader use soon." [endquote]

(TWITTER)

**
SOCIAL-MEDIA MENTORIING IN INDIA FOR HAM HOPEFULS

JIM/ANCHOR: With lockdown providing a convenient environment for learning about ham radio, one ham in India has announced a mentoring program on social media. John Williams VK4JJW has those details.

JOHN: It's not your typical way of calling QRZ but then the ham radio operator putting out the call is in search of prospective amateurs, youngsters who are curious about getting a licence. Recognising that the public-health lockdown in India has left young curious minds idle, Rajesh Vagadia VU2EXP, regional coordinator of the West Zone of AMSAT-India, has been making himself available as a mentor on social media. He has set up an appointment schedule with specific hours and invited questions over his WhatsApp account. He said in a public posting that he intends to provide this free service through to the 14th of April.

He writes: [quote] "Stay home. Be Safe. Learn more." [endquote]

**
ANSWERING THE QRZ OF A 'Z M' CONTACT IN NEW ZEALAND

JIM/ANCHOR: Because extraordinary circumstances inspire extraordinary measures, New Zealand hams are now able to use an extraordinarily different call sign, as we hear from Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

JIM M: No, you're not hearing things: If you're operating from New Zealand, Zed L has just become Zed M - and for good reason. Radio Spectrum Management has approved a request by the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters to treat COVID-19 lockdown as a special event which, of course, would warrant a special prefix.

According to Infoline, the association's newsletter, the purpose of the change is to make New Zealand Amateurs a bit more prominent on the air and to make the world more aware of New Zealand in general. Yes, it's also a little extra touch to help everyone relieve the boredom that sometimes comes with having to stay in the same spot twenty-four/seven. The newsletter noted that the alternate prefix was suggested by Paul ZL4TT - or is that ZM4TT?

So if you happen to be DXing and hear a New Zealand amateur calling QRZ with a ZM prefix, you're not hearing things. You've just copied one more New Zealand amateur who's brightening things up a bit by changing things up a bit.

**

SEA-PAC CANCELLED IN OREGON

JIM: SEA-PAC 2020, which was to have been held in Oregon in June, has been called off. The cancellation of the event, which is also the ARRL Northwestern Division Convention, is the result of concerns stemming from the global pandemic. Organizers said it is being done in the interest of the safety of conference attendees, presenters and vendors. Gary Takis K7GJT said in an email that the executive committee plans to refund convention fees and focus instead on next year's event.

More details can be found at seapac dot org (seapac.org).

**
LIGHTHOUSE WEEKEND ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS FOR LATE-SUMMER EVENT

JIM/ANCHOR: The number of registrants continues to grow for the late-summer event known as the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Graham Kemp VK4BB has more on that story.

GRAHAM: If lighthouses function as beacons, then why not think of them as beacons of hope? Organizers of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend are reminding the amateur radio community that the event in August is going ahead irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual participants should take note of local COVID rulings at the time - which will likely be different in the over 40 countries across the world which are taking part.

The event is set for the 22nd and 23rd of August and so far 138 entries have been registered. Hams are being encouraged to find a lighthouse to activate and make their plans if they are comfortable doing so and if local government regulations and park closures do not preclude such activity. Visit the website illw dot net (illw.net) to find a registration form.

**
MARKING WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY, EVEN WITHOUT HF

JIM/ANCHOR: Now more than ever it's important to celebrate amateur radio. Stephen Kinford N8WB shares two ways to do it even if you don't have access to HF.

STEPHEN: Get ready for World Amateur Radio Day, which marks the 95th year since the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union. There will be plenty of action for hams who use EchoLink or IRLP as their main modes. This year is the fifth year an international group of hams will be operating in a 12-hour net taking place on the EchoLink/VOIP system starting at 1600 UTC on April 18th on the DoDropIn Conference Server, Node 355800. The special event coordinator John DeRycke (Duh-Rye-Key) W2JLD said there will be a special event QSL card along with a certificate marking the net's fifth year of operation. Nine control operators around the world will be helping makeso this happen.

Elsewhere, be listening for the special event call W7W on the World conference server IRLP 9251. Tom Harrington AF7J told Newsline in an email that hams will be calling QRZ starting at 1600 UTC. Check-ins will also be possible on IRLP Node 9109 or Allstar 43609 and through repeaters linked to those nodes. Commemorative certificates can be emailed upon request. Paper QSLs can be requested through AA7WB along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

**
SILENT KEY: FORMER DXCC ADMINISTRATOR DON SEARCH W3AZD

JIM/ANCHOR: A noted DXer and a former administrator of the ARRL's DXCC desk has become a Silent Key. Jack Parker W8ISH tells us about him.

JACK: Don Search, W3AZD, the longtime administrator of the DXCC Desk for the ARRL, has become a Silent Key. Don, who lived in Davie, Florida, died on March 26th at a rehabilitation center where he was being cared for following a fall on December 17th of last year. An astronomy enthusiast, Don also belonged to various radio clubs over the years, including the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association, the South Florida DX Association and the National Capitol DX Association outside Washington, D.C., where he was among the original members. Don was also a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association. He was perhaps best-known for his work with the ARRL's DXCC desk, where he administered the award for 15 years. He was a retired electronic technician for Burrows Communications in Maryland. Writing an online tribute in a DX News forum, Rich Boyd KE3Q said Don was [quote]: "a friend to so many of us, a DXCC card checker, and longtime ARRL DXCC staffer, signer of our DXCC certificates for so many years. His name and signature grace the walls of, no doubt, thousands of hamshacks."

**

WORLD OF DX

In the world of DX, listen for Harm PA0HPG, Michel PA0VCC, Ad PA2PCH, Nico PA3ADU and other operators who will be activating special event station PA75ASN until May 7th. The station commemorates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Assen. Be listening on 80/60/40/30/20/17 and 15 meters where they are using CW, SSB and FT8/FT4. Send QSLs to PA0VCC, direct or by the Bureau. NO eQSL.

In the Czech Republic, members of the Czechoslovak DX Club OK2KDX are active as OL30DXC until the end of the year. They are celebrating the club's 30th anniversary. Be listening on various HF and VHF bands where they are using CW, SSB, FM and the Digital modes. QSL to OK2PXJ.

Members of the Tango Alpha Ham Radio Club YM1KE in Turkey are using the special event callsign TC1STAYHOME to increase awareness for safety during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The special event will continue through the 5th of May. In a posting in the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter the operators said they hope the pandemic will have ended by the time the station goes QRT. For QSL information visit QRZ.com.

**
KICKER: APRIL FOOL'S - IT'S PIERRE PULLINMYLEG

JIM/ANCHOR: In case you were wondering where the one Newsline reporter who works one day a year - on April Fool's Day - has been -- well, he's right here. Pierre Pullinmyleg is a little late for work this year but he's got a blockbuster of a story, as he always does, on which to end this week's newscast. Pierre?

PIERRE: So you missed me, n'est-ce-pas? You thought Pierre Pullinmyleg had missed his April Fool's Day report? Mais non!! Pierre, he is no fool! I have been busy, so very busy reporting an exclusive for Newsline listeners: It is zee next great amateur radio contest and unlike any other before. It is zee QRP-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P (well you get zee idea) contest. All this nonsense about zee amplifiers and zee big directional beams. HAH! Not needed here. Zis contest is so low power you can only have a QSO with yourself! And only if conditions, zay are perfect. <mwah!!> I personally will be operating with 1 nanowatt from a rig zee size of a walnut.....errr, I mean, if I can get zis rig back from zee squirrels.

In ziss contest you must log and confirm all QSOs -- zay are always with yourself and always a 5 and 9, mes amis! Zere will be a special certificate zee size of a postage stamp - and you must download ONLY using a modem at 14.4 kilobit speed. Can you stand the excitement?

Neither can Pierre Pullinmyleg! In fact I am so excited I could just QRP-P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P!

FRIDAY EDITION: Yet another 50 mph gusty wind night and day here on the island, the ocean surf on the beach is wild..3928 was interesting yesterday afternoon, if you can imagine someone asking for an audio check from a group of 60-80 year old half deaf hams (some alcohol impaired) all with totally subjective thoughts on what "good " audio is. If you are running a kilowatt into a good antenna and  talking to guys all within 75 miles of each other on 75 meters in the afternoon, an audio box doesn't make a shit load of difference.I would say that Mud Duck still rules the roost as the most over processed, loud and wide audio signal on 3928...That said, 3928 is the pick of the week for easy listening...

Coronavirus: Some radio hams permitted STAYHOME call suffix

ARRL reports some countries around the world are allowing radio amateurs to use special 'STAYHOME' call sign suffixes

The League says:
For example, listen for 8A1STAYHOME from Indonesia, and A60STAYHOME/# call signs from the United Arab Emirates.

In Canada, Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using VC2STAYHOM “to raise awareness for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Canada limits call sign suffixes to seven characters.

Australia has permitted the Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA) to use the special call sign AX2020STAYHOME. At 14 characters, that may set a record for world’s longest call sign.

Also look for 9K9STAYHOME from the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society; TC1STAYHOME, the COVID-19 special event call sign from Turkey, and HZ1STAYHOME from the Saudi Amateur Radio Society.

Source ARRL
https://www.arrl.org/news/view/some-countries-permitting-stayhome-suffix-call-signs-during-covid-19-pandemic

Radio hams in Saudi Arabia gets access to 50 MHz band

The Saudi Amateur Radio Society (SARS) has announced that the communications regulator CITC has agreed radio amateurs can use 50-54 MHz

The first contacts on the band took place on Thursday, April 2. See the SARS Twitter feed at
https://twitter.com/hz1sar/status/1245664446413975553

The Saudi Amateur Radio Association announced a prize would be awarded for the first 50 MHz band voice contact starting Thursday, April 2 at 1:00 pm, Mecca time. Those claiming the prize had to send in a video recording, see
https://twitter.com/hz1sar/status/1245636287542865920

Amateurs in Saudi Arabia are limited to 50 watts on frequencies above 30 MHz. You can download the license documents in English from the following page, there is no need to login. At yet the Technical Conditions PDF has not been updated to show the new band  
https://aot.citc.gov.sa/reg/english/login_en.aspx

Coronavirus discussion on Uckfield FM breaks broadcasting rules

Ofcom has today imposed a sanction on the Sussex-based community radio station Uckfield FM, after a discussion on the programme about the causes and origins of Covid-19 broke our broadcasting rules.

Our investigation found that a interviewee, introduced to listeners as a registered nurse, expressed scientifically unfounded views that the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China was linked to the rollout of 5G technology.

The interviewee also suggested to listeners that they were being misled about the Coronavirus, which had the potential to undermine listeners’ trust in the advice and instructions of public authorities. These claims were not sufficiently challenged by the presenter.

Given these serious failings, we concluded that Uckfield FM did not provide adequate protection for listeners from the potentially harmful material in this programme, and that a statutory sanction is warranted.

As a result, Uckfield FM must broadcast a summary of this breach on a date and form to be decided by Ofcom.

https://ofcom.cmail19.com/t/i-l-xtdlytt-wklhtkyut-u/

Spain Grants Unlicensed Individuals Permission to Use Amateur Stations During Lockdown

Spain’s International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society URE has obtained temporary permission from the country’s telecommunications regulator for unlicensed people to use amateur stations during the coronavirus lockdown.

The main objective of the request is to disseminate and promote amateur radio among schoolchildren who must be confined at home,” the announcement from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Infrastructure said. “This activity offers young people the opportunity to gain practical experience in telecommunications technology, promotes education in technological subjects, and is a socially enriching family activity.”

The temporary authorization would be in place while the state of alert and mandatory confinement measures are in effect in Spain. Non-licensed individuals could operate an amateur station only under the direct supervision of the licensee, under current amateur radio rules and regulations.

THURSDAY EDITION: I broke down and had groceries delivered here yesterday using the Instacart online service with Shaw's. It is more expensive but worth every penny. My XYL has a very compromised immunity system and I am older than dirt...so I am in quarantine here with ham radio as an outlet and facetime with my kids...Here we go again, 40-60 mph hour winds and 1.5 inches of rain predicted tomorrow...this will be the fifteenth storm this year with extreme winds.

SolderSmoke Podcast 220 available

Bill Meara M0HBR / N2CQR has released another edition of the amateur radio SolderSmoke podcast

This edition includes:
• Hallicrafters S-38E
• Phasing Rig Project
• Mailbag  

Listen to the podcast
http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke220.mp3

Built by popular demand, the DX Engineering Ladder Line Surge Protector

For many years, hams have asked us for a surge protector for use with their 300 ohm and 450 ohm ladder line fed antennas. Decades ago automotive spark plugs or arc gaps were used for shunting lightning pulses from balanced feeders to ground. But, you never really knew if they were going to work, were continuing to work or if they were affecting the tuning.

Here is the modern approach to providing surge protection for ladder line fed antennas. Made with components similar to those used in coaxial protectors, the DXE-LLSP uses much larger capacitors, resistors and gas discharge tubes on each leg of the ladder line to offer excellent surge protection capabilities at high SWR. These components are rated to handle 5 kW, so this protector will easily handle well over legal limit RF power at the high standing wave ratios expected on balanced line. Plus, the Ladder Line Surge Protector bleeds off the static charge that is collected on your antenna from wind driven sand, rain and snow!

The DXE-LLSP Ladder Line Surge Protector is built to sustain multiple minor surges. As with any surge protector, there is no guarantee that a direct hit from lightning will be stopped. A replacement parts kit is also available to refurbish your pulse damaged protector: DXE-LLSP-RP

Features of the DX Engineering Ladder Line Surge Protector:
• Standard size NEMA enclosure; 4 x 4 x 2 in. nominal box dimensions; mounting tab holes on centers: 4.625 x 2.125 in.
• Works with 450 ohm or 300 ohm Ladder Line and 600 ohm open-wire feeder
• Internal Gas Discharge Tubes, Capacitors and Resistors
• Can withstand multiple minor surges and shunts them to ground
• Bleeds off static charge collected from wind driven snow, rain and sand
• Weep holes allow any buildup of internal moisture to drain out
• Handles well over legal limit at high SWR as expected on balanced line

FCC Settles with Massachusetts Pirate Broadcaster

After filing a civil action and seeking an injunction to stop a church-related pirate radio station from operating in Worcester, Massachusetts, the US Attorney’s Office this week reached a settlement with the station’s operators, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church. US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary Harold announced the settlement on June 10. Oburoni and the church admitted that they had operated an FM broadcast station without a license. According to a consent decree filed on June 10 and subject to court approval, Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church agree not to do so in the future. They also agreed to surrender all of their broadcasting equipment.

“In the event the FCC reasonably suspects that they have violated the Act, the FCC may inspect the premises and seize any broadcasting equipment,” an FCC news release said. If the FCC determines that “the defendants” have operated an unlicensed broadcasting station in violation of the settlement, they will be subject to a $75,000 fine. The FCC received complaints, including one from a licensed broadcaster, that the pirate station was causing interference.

According to the signed consent decree, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church admitted that they operated a radio broadcast station in Worcester, on 97.1 MHz, without an FCC license and previously had operated an unlicensed radio station on 102.3 MHz. The FCC had issued multiple warnings and issued a Forfeiture Order in the amount of $15,000 against Oburoni. The FCC said Oburoni agreed to a payment plan but later began broadcasting again without a license on a different frequency

Coronavirus: Call to dust off amateur radios and get talking in East Lancs

The Lancashire Telegraph interviews Nick Isherwood 2E0NJI about the role of amateur radio and RAYNET East Lancashire during the Coronavirus outbreak

The newspaper says:
A CALL out has been made for residents to dust off their old ham radios in a bid to tackle lockdown loneliness and to potentially play a key role in the battle to prevent coronavirus deaths.

Nick Isherwood, who is the group controller of RAYNET East Lancashire, is hoping to hold bi-weekly 'gatherings' of amateur radio operators in the region to ensure people with access to the technology – who can often be isolated – are not in need of any help.

Mr Isherwood can also see the 15-strong members of RAYNET East Lancashire, which is affiliated to RAYNET-UK and one of four groups covering the whole of the county, being asked to fulfill a communication or co-ordination role as community groups spring up across the county to help assist the Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) in the battle to contain the coronavirus and prevent unnecessary deaths.

Read the full story at
https://www.lancashire
telegraph.co.uk/news/18349197.coronavirus-call-dust-off-amateur-radios-get-talking-east-lancs/

 

WEDNESDAY EDITION: April Fool's Day has been cancelled this year, there is nothing funny to joke about....One of the highest Corona Positive case cities in NH is Salem- home of our beloved HRO. be safe up there guys...A Maryland winery is observing social distancing protocol in its curbside deliveries with an unusual employee -- a delivery dog...What would we do without knuckleheads like this in the world attacking issues of importance for man and society?....New Icom 705 delivery date being extended out due to lack of needed parts for assembly...

Ham Radio Test Online – USA conducts first online ham radio exam – special thanks to W5YI for supporting this project.

USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships Canceled

The ARRL ARDF Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the 20th USA ARDF Championships, which were set to be held this summer. Contact the ARRL ARDF Committee for more information on ARDF and on attending, participating in, or hosting ARDF competitions. ARDF participants do not need an amateur radio license. For more information on Amateur Radio Direction Finding, visit the Homing In website of Joe Moell, K0OV. — Thanks to USA ARDF Co-Coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZ0I

Amateur Radio Satellite Spreads Fight Coronavirus Message

Indonesia’s International Amateur Radio Union member-society ORARI reports the ham radio satellite LAPAN-A2 (IO-86) is being used to transmit a “fight coronavirus” message via APRS. The satellite’s text message is, “Stay Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona (Fight Coronavirus).” Sonny Dwi Harsono, YD1SCC, a researcher the Center for Satellite Technology Development, has explained that including the APRS text message was a form of support for government policies on social distancing in Indonesia.

To date, the message has been received by dozens of ORARI members throughout Indonesia, Harsono said.

Eventually, he said, plans call for trying to distribute the message via IO-86 every 100 minutes under certain conditions. Technical details are being worked out. Harsono pointed out that government messages about COVID-19 could also be transmitted via the satellite. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via AMSAT-UK

NASA adds Shannon Walker to first operational crewed SpaceX mission

NASA has assigned astronaut Shannon Walker, KD5DXB to the first operational crewed flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.

Walker will join NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, KF5LJG and Victor Glover Jr., as well as Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), for a six-month expedition aboard the unique space laboratory.

This mission will be the first in a series of regular, rotational flights to the station following NASA’s certification of the new crewed system following completion and validation of SpaceX’s test flight with astronauts, known as Demo-2. This test is expected to take place in mid-to-late May as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Pending the successful Demo-2 test, Walker, Glover, Hopkins, and Noguchi will launch aboard Crew Dragon on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That launch is targeted for later this year.


Shannon Walker looking out of the international space station's cupola at the
Caribbean view beneath on November 25, 2010. Credits: NASA

Walker was born in Houston and began her career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in 1987 as a robotics flight controller for the space shuttle with Rockwell Space Operations Co. She became a NASA employee in 1995, working on robotics and avionics hardware for the station with the program’s international partners. She also coordinated on-orbit problem resolution in the Mission Evaluation Room at Johnson and in Moscow and served as acting manager of the On-Orbit Engineering Office before NASA selected her for the 2004 astronaut class. As an astronaut, she spent 163 days as a flight engineer aboard the space station for Expeditions 24 and 25 in 2010. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s and doctorate in space physics, all from Rice University in Houston.

NASA already assigned Glover and Hopkins to the first operation SpaceX crewed mission in August 2018. This will be the first spaceflight for Glover and the second for Hopkins, who lived aboard the space station from September 2013 to March 2014 as part of Expeditions 37 and 38.

It will be the third spaceflight for Noguchi, who was a space shuttle crew member on the STS-114 mission in 2005 and a space station crew member from December 2009 to June 2010 as part of Expeditions 22 and 23.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and to the space station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbital outpost.

The station is a critical testbed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight. As commercial companies focus on providing human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA is free to focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions.

Follow NASA astronauts on social media at:
https://www.twitter.com/NASA_astronauts

Special Call ZT1T

Tom Morgan is using the call ZT1T for the period of the 'lockdown' in South Africa. This period also covered the recent SSB WPX Contest.

All contacts are uploaded to LOTW.

Tom asks that any qsl card requests (see QRZ.com) are held until mail systems in South Africa and the Rest of the World are back to normal.

Keep safe out there.

Tom ZT1T

TUESDAY EDITION: Another Corona free day, thankfully ....Dr Daniel Reardon got four magnets stuck up his nostrils while experimenting with them at home last week as he tried to come up with a way to stop people touching their faces.....

International Marconi Day 2020 cancelled

The ARRL reports International Marconi Day 2020, planned for Saturday, April 25, has been cancelled

The annual International Marconi Day (IMD) ham radio operating event that was set to take place on April 25 has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-hour amateur radio event celebrates the birth of Marconi on April 25, 1874.

Sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club, which operates as GB4IMD, International Marconi Day features participating stations operating at sites having a personal connection to Marconi, including places where he set up transmitting and receiving stations.

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/international-marconi-day-2020-has-been-canceled

The Australian researcher had been trying to create a magnetic necklace that activated an alarm if users brought it too close to their face. 

Amazon fired an employee who helped organize a walkout at one of its fulfillment centers over the company’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on Monday.

Chris Smalls, the employee who helped organize the demonstration, said he felt Amazon had failed to enact adequate measures to protect workers at the facility as many Americans turn to online shopping as stay-at-home mandates expand around the country. Smalls was one of a small group who walked out at a fulfillment center on Staten Island, demanding the company close the site and sanitize it before reopening. He said Amazon had notified employees at the warehouse of one confirmed case of the virus but claimed there were several others that hadn’t yet been reported.

Shortly after the strike, Smalls was terminated after working at Amazon for five years.

“Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe,” Smalls said in a statement obtained by HuffPost. “I am outraged and disappointed, but I’m not shocked. As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than act to keep workers and working communities safe.”

FCC Grants Temporary Emergency Authority to WISPs Operating in 5.8 GHz Ban

The FCC has granted temporary permission to wireless internet service providers (WISPs) in rural portions of 29 states and the US Virgin Islands to operate in the 5.8 GHz band (5.850 – 5.895 GHz). The authorization, to help meet the temporary surge in demand for residential fixed broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of multiple waivers issued in the past week that grant temporary access to a variety of bands in response to the uptick in residential broadband demand.

The 5.8-GHz grants were effective on March 26. Each grant is for 60 days, provided individual WISPs file STA applications within 10 days of March 26. Amateur Radio shares this spectrum on a secondary basis with Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems and industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) applications, and that status remains unchanged.

“[E]ach applicant is independently responsible for complying with the conditions of its grant,” the FCC’s Keith D. Harper, Associate Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Mobility Division wrote in granting the request. “Applicants are advised that this includes ensuring proper protection of incumbents in the 5.8 GHz band.” The Commission noted that WISPs are responsible for ensuring that they do not cause interference to existing licensees.

According to the request, each of the WISPs provides fixed wireless broadband service in rural areas, primarily relying on unlicensed spectrum for last-mile connections to end users. “Many of the WISPs’ customers have no other alternative to terrestrial broadband services,” the request said.

Commenting earlier this month in response to an FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-138 — in which the FCC said it would “take a fresh and comprehensive look” at the rules for the 5.8 GHz band — ARRL called the FCC’s attention to the widespread use of the 5.8 GHz band for amateur mesh and amateur television networks, as well as links that radio amateurs have engineered into the band on a non-interference secondary basis “and which often are used directly for public service purposes when there are no other facilities available.”

The Commission’s emergency grant explicitly requires that the WISP operations be conducted on a non-interference basis. If unexpected interference within this spectrum range is experienced, radio amateurs should consult Attachment 1 of the grant and contact the WISP indicated at the address and email address provided.

Coronavirus: Spain grants special authorization to radio hams

Spain's national amateur radio society URE has talked to their regulator and obtained permission for unlicensed people to use amateur stations during the Coronavirus lockdown

A Google translation of part of the URE announcement says:

After the publication of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the situation of health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), for this purpose, and with the In order to accompany radio amateurs in the exceptional situation caused by the spread of COVID-19, the URE, in its commitment to collaborate and help to cope with the complicated situation we are currently experiencing in our country, presented to the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures a request for special authorization.

Today, the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures has issued a resolution granting temporary authorization for the use, under certain conditions, of radio amateur stations by people who do not have the required administrative authorization under the supervision of authorized radio amateurs. , while the validity of the state of alarm and its corresponding mandatory measures of confinement.

That the use of the aforementioned radio amateur stations will be carried out under the responsibility and direct and face-to-face supervision of the radio amateur and under the conditions established in the Regulations for the use of the radioelectric public domain by radio amateurs.

Read the full URE announcement at
https://tinyurl.com/SpainURE

The authorization is at
https://avancedigital.gob.es/espectro/radioaficionados/autorizaciones/Documents/resolucion-autorizacion-radioficionados-estado-alarma.pdf

Radio Amateurs of Canada offers new Online Amateur Radio Courses

In response to the current Covid-19 crisis, Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to announce that it is introducing two new online Amateur Radio courses so that individuals can upgrade their qualifications while continuing to practise social/physical distancing.

RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course:  The course offers an introduction into the wonderful world of Amateur Radio nd prepares students for their Basic Qualification Examination. It will be conducted with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley Amateur Radio Club (AVARC) of Nova Scotia. 

RAC Maple Leaf Operator Online Advanced Qualification Course:  The course is an excellent opportunity to upgrade your qualifications so that you will be able to run higher power and to operate your own repeater sites. The course is being offered at no charge to RAC Maple Leaf Operator Members – both current and future – who already have their Basic Amateur Radio Qualification.

Additional information:

RAC Online Basic Amateur Radio Qualification Course

This course prepares students for the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Basic Qualification Level Operator Certificate exam to operate on allocated Amateur Radio frequencies.

The course will use the GoToMeeting web-based service and will start on Thursday, April 16 and will finish in mid-June. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 pm to 8:30 (1800 – 2030) Eastern Time (1900 – 2130 Atlantic Time) and Sunday afternoons 1 pm to 3:30 pm (1300 – 1530) Eastern Time (1400 – 1630 Atlantic Time).

The course instructor is Al Penney, VO1NO. Al was first licensed in 1977 and has been active in many areas of Amateur Radio including contesting, DXing, VHF/UHF weak signal, satellites, emergency communications and DXpeditioning. He has served as the President of six different Amateur Radio clubs in both Canada and the United States and currently chairs the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 Band Planning Committee. Al has taught the Basic Qualification Amateur Radio Course since 1994. 

Cost:  The registration fee for the course is $50 plus GST/HST. The cost of the Basic Study Guide is extra and an order link will be provided upon completion of payment.

For more information please visit: https://www.rac.ca/basic-radio-course/

COVID-19 Affects Space Station Crew Transition

International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 62 crew is readying its Soyuz MS-15 vehicle for an April 17 departure back to Earth. Expedition 62 members are NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir; Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan, KI5AAA, and Commander Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ. The Expedition 63 crew members who are to replace them are nearing an April 9 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-16 vehicle.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, and Ivan Vagner arrived this week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for final training. The Expedition 63 trio is scheduled to live aboard the station for a little longer than 6 months, with Cassidy as commander. Because of travel limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cassidy’s family will watch from home when he blasts off on April 9. Launch day at Baikonur is usually a festive affair.

“But it’ll be completely quiet,” Cassidy said in a Spaceflight Now satellite interview from Star City, Russia. “There won’t be anybody there.” A NASA protocol has long been in place to prevent astronauts from carrying disease microbes into space. All astronauts going to orbit must go through a 2-week “health stabilization” quarantine period. This way, NASA can make sure the crew is not incubating any illnesses before launch. NASA said it “will continue to evaluate and augment this plan, in coordination with its international and commercial partners,” if needed.

Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has shut down all media activity surrounding the Soyuz launch, barring journalists from covering the mission in person. Russia will still live-stream the launch; NASA typically carries all of its crewed launches online via its NASA TV channel. The mid-April return of the Expedition 62 crew would typically involve a large number of recovery personnel.

SpaceX will be ready to send its first crew of NASA astronauts to the ISS aboard its Crew Dragon capsule sometime in May. NASA has not said what might happen if those operations should change in light of the pandemic. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service



New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
WB1ABC- Ari..Bought an amp and now we can here him on 75 meters, worships his wife, obsessed with Id'ing
N1BOW-Phil...Retired broadcast engineer, confused and gullible, cheap, only uses single ply toilet paper
KB1OWO- Larry...
Handsome Fellow ,only cuts lawn in August, plows snow the rest in Jackman, Maine
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent Key K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
Silent Key
VA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....

 

 
  d tuesday